Robert M. Detman

Sunlight on jade leaves. The color to soothe your existence. What you don't always notice.

You become strong because you know you will deal with this. Now it's all laid out on a table, a puzzle, almost formulaic. You hope the pieces fit, and it's really problematic when they don't.

I felt like I was talking to the cops.

I kissed her in the sunlight. We were trying to be reasonable. We were "making a go of it again."

His mother wanted me to send her the pictures of the pony. We fed it every day in Tulum. When my computer crashed, I lost everything: writing, music, photos. She died a few months later and I never got to tell her I'd lost the picture.

When we talked, blocking the path, he wouldn't walk between us, wouldn't ask us to move.

I saw this color, heard those chattering birds that annoy me so early in the mornings during a full moon, the distant rattle of a jack hammer, the leaves fanning in the window. The building was rolling, subtly. It was all the same, the wind, the earth.

I know that feeling, I'd been there before, years ago, in Chicago. I'd turned off when someone who had it together was curious about what the hell was up with me.

That's when I knew it was over. She stopped herself from catching me when I slipped on the trail. I might have made a better go of it.

I have become quiet. I take in the information and pretend if necessary. I never act or say anything that might appear that I know I'm on higher ground.